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March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, so what are the issues?

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The oldest national bisexual organization, the Bisexual Resource Center, based in Boston, Mass., is spreading the word that March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month.

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Why should Bisexuals have their own month dedicated to health awareness? What could possibly be the health issues for bi folk?

Well, the stats show that bisexuals, particularly youth, suffer more from alienation, and therefore substance abuse and suicide attempts. Recent studies show that bisexual boys are more prone to steroid abuse than straight teens. Bisexuals are often wrongly accused of bringing HIV to the heterosexual community.

Ellyn Ruthstrom of the BRC pointed out that the bi community is "energized by the historic White House Roundtable on Bisexual Issues held in September 2013."

Bisexual Health Awareness Month, according to Ruthstrom, is the first social media event of its kind to raise awareness specifically about bisexual health disparities using social media Facebook and Twitter.

This year, the theme—“Bi the Way, Our Health Matters Too!"—highlights the bisexual community experiences physical and mental health disparities. The campaign will highlight work that is already being done by researchers and organizations across the country and urge more action in the future.

As hip as the world seems to have become, bisexuals still face discrimination and not part of the overall LGT community. In a recent study, the Williams Institute has found that approximately half of self-identified LGBT Americans identify as bisexual.

BRC’s president Ruthstrom, said, “The BRC will be posting and Tweeting all month-long and we are encouraging other bi-specific and LGBT organizations to share and retweet to keep the information circulating throughout the community. We want to both raise awareness about these very serious health issue in the bi community and also foster connections between organizations that will help us work on these issues.”

There are events, seminars and lectures on both coasts this year, and the full details can be found by going to the websites below.

March 3-7 Mental Health & Biphobia: The BRC will highlight important statistics about mental health disparities in the bisexual community, including the high rates of suicide, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.

March 10-14 Safer Sex & Sexual Health: The focus this week will be on the incidence of sexually transmitted infections and risky sexual behaviors among bisexuals, as well as bisexual specific safer sex practices and resources.

March 17-21 Nutrition & Physical Activity: This week experts point out cardiovascular-related disparities in the bisexual community, including higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and encourage ways to improve health through nutrition and exercise.

March 24-28 Intimate Partner Violence & Sexual Violence: The final week of the campaign will draw attention to the high rates of rape, physical violence, and stalking experienced by bisexuals via an intimate partner.

The Los Angeles Bisexual Task Force (LABTF) released its "March 2014 - 31 Days of Bi Wellness Calendar." The nonprofit group created this one-of-a-kind calendar to serve both as a personal and public tool to shed light on the many health issues affecting the bis community. Click here for the calendar: biresource.net/Bi_Health_Awareness_Cal

Biversity Boston is the mixed gender bisexual network of Greater Boston and has a variety of events, lectures, movie nights and more.

Find more Boston bi events at Meetup.com www.meetup.com/Bi-Community-Activities

Find out helpful articles and information about the issues in a collection of articles here: biresource.net/bihealthmonthlinks.

Donations to the Bisexual Resource Center
When making a donation to the Bisexual Resource Center, please make checks payable to 'BRC' and mail to:
Bisexual Resource Center
P.O. Box 170796
Boston, MA 02117
Donations to the Bisexual Resource Center are tax deductible.

Ruthstrom added, “With more research indicating that bi people are experiencing severe physical and mental health disparities, we think it is imperative to bring this information out of the shadows so that we can build more effective ways to address them. Our community is suffering and we can no longer afford to be the invisible majority of the LGBT community.”

You can follow the month-long campaign on the Bisexual Resource Center’s Facebook page and follow BRC’s Twitter feed (@BRC_Central) and the hashtag #bihealthmonth.

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